Is it thursday already? It only feels like it was Chtristmas yesterday and here we are, about to embark on the 1st day of the month of AUGUST!
Okay so this has nothing to do with what i am talking about today but hey ho! It struck how fast time was passing by because i had told a friend I would be posting this blog on monday evening and here we are 4 days later and its only just being done. Oh well, better late than never right?
Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religious scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer. (Matthew 23:1-3 MSG)
So on Sunday afternoon, i decided to do something that is really only ever acceptable for people under the age of 3; I took a nap! When i did finally wake up 2 HOURS LATER, I immediately felt as though I NEEDED to read Matthew 23. Its not a chapter I’m familiar with but i read on anyway wondering what i would learn.
Have you ever found yourself reading the Bible and feeling as though you “just got TOLD”? Because thats how I felt. But not in a way where I felt condemed, it was more of a conviction than anything.
Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer. (Matthew 23:1-3 MSG)
As i read this verse, i was reminded of what God doesnt want or do in any of His children. God doesnt do “surface level- clean!
What is that?
“Surface level clean” is a term I came up with to describe my own level of cleanliness. You see, I like to tidy up in a way so that if you look on the surface, things APPEAR clean. So for example, I will sweep the living room floor but I will NOT move the chairs forward to get a good sweep of the things that have gathered underneath perhaps over the last few days, weeks or even months. Yikes!
I say “Yikes” because I KNOW the crap that’s accumulated when we live “surface level clean”. We become false people so preoccupied with what’s happening on the outside that we forget to nurture the inside that will eventually spew up all over the outside anyway! And usually at the most unpredictable and inconvenient time.
Living “surface level clean” is the same as living a “spit and polish veneer” type of life. It’s far from God’s best because it keeps us prone to hypocrisy. Why? Because we are so busy trying to portray an image far from the state and condition of our hearts so we start to judge others who perhaps don’t reflect our ideal or the image we are desperate to portray.
Is it a bit harsh to say to say that as generation we have become more concerned with what people think of us that we portray an image to the world around us that is in no way consistant with who we areally are? We talk a good talk but when it comes down to it, the words we speak are nothing but smoke and mirrors.
We don’t love as we ought to love, serve out of humility or give with a grateful heart. Instead, we have teachers more concerned with number of followers they have instead of being concerned with souls of those they lead regardless of if it’s 5 or 500.
Don’t get me started on the faithful who serve week in week out at church. They will put on their best Sunday smile with the hope of the “right” person noticing them and spotting their “leadership potential.” And if that doesn’t happen soon enough, then they are off to the next church that WILL notice their leadership qualities and make the “right choice.”
And let’s not forget the social preachers, they love you enough to spit you a nasty comment on Instagram but that’s okay because it’s laced in scripture. Their names may be @daughterofaking but their lives spell @childofs****. But hey, that’s okay right?
No. It’s not. It’s really not.
I have to put my hands up and say, this verse has smacked me right in the face and I am glad it did. God didn’t save any of us so we can live a false life. We were saved for a purpose. That our lives might be a reflection of Him and that He would use us as a vessel to bring His other sons and daughters HOME.
That will not happen if we are too busy living “surface level clean”. That will not happen if our words do not match our posts and that certainly will not happen if we are more concerned with our social status than we are the souls of others. We need to live passionately obsessed with the Kingdom. Living in a way that HIS will be done.
So I determine THIS day, I want to live as a vessel for God. I want to live as One who KNOWS the King and not just of Him. I’m done with surface level living. I want real intimacy that stretches so far and so wide, that it pours onto the outside of me and overflows to those that I meet. So no more spit and polish antiques for me!
I’d better go sweep under those chairs hey…